5:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

The family of a Slidell woman, believed to have been decapitated in New Orleans, demands the suspect in the crime be denied bail. Julia Dardar’s dismembered body was found in a freezer at the home of local artist Benjamin Beale. He’s has been charged in her death. Julia’s estranged husband Micah Dardar this morning…:

CUT 09(06)      “…demented and demonic.”

Beal’s bond HAS been set, at $1.4-million. He is still in jail.

The National Weather Service says there’s the possibility of a wintry mix later this week. A strong cold front arrives overnight; bringing the potential for strong storms late Wednesday in north Louisiana. Meteorologist Kevin Owens says behind the front is very cold air and once the temperature gets close to the freezing mark, freezing rain is possible…:

CUT 12(11)      “…more information.”

Owens says tomorrow will start off as a mild day and then some of the coldest weather of the winter will arrive.

 

Physicians advise, if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, to assume you have the virus and stay home. It might not be COVID but Dr. Lucio Miele, Chair of the Department of Genetics at LSU Health New Orleans says the PCR test is more accurate, but it takes several days to receive results. He says having both speed and sensitivity is a difficult combination in a test…:

CUT 04(08)      “…not possible.”

You can get a FREE package of four at-home COVID tests by going online to “covidtests.gov”

The state Health Department reports just over 29-thousand new case of coronavirus; the majority of them are the Omicron variant. Almost 2200 are in hospitals right now. Of those, about 73-percent have not been fully vaccinated.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double murder in Metairie. JPSO spokesman Glen Boyd says the male victims were shot to death. They were found by a friend Monday night. An investigation is underway.

4:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers, who is challenging Republican John Kennedy, releases a campaign ad that shows him smoking marijuana. Chambers says the goal of the ad is to destigmatize the drug and support legalization and decriminalization…:

CUT 06  (12)        “…just like me.”

Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges, who covers Senate races, says he’s never seen or heard of a candidate openly smoking weed in a campaign ad. Chambers is joined in challenging Kennedy by Bunkie Democrat Luke Mixon.

A 14-year-old girl in Franklin is under arrest; accused of making a bomb threat to the town’s junior and senior high schools. Police says the girl – whose name is withheld because she is a minor – faces charges of terrorizing and communicating false information of a planned bombing on a school.

Louisiana has surpassed one-million positive cases of COVID since the pandemic began in 2020. A little over 15-thousand have died during that time.

 

The estranged husband of a Slidell woman, whose dismembered body was found at a home in New Orleans’ 9th Ward, is demanding the suspect be held without bond. Julia Dardar’s husband Micah says his wife suffered from addiction and mental health issues, and he knew she was hanging around suspect Benjamin Beale…:

CUT 11  (11)        “…too little, too late.”

Beale faces murder and obstruction of justice charges. Micah Dardar wants Beale denied bond, because he considers him a flight risk.

A private school in Clinton, in East Feliciana Parish, is under fire for changing Martin Luther King Day to “Great American Heroes Day” on its school calendar. After a spate of complaints and MANY negative social media posts, the Silliman Institute says it will ”review the manner in which we celebrate this day at our next Board of Directors’ Meeting, and are prepared to make necessary changes as we move forward.”

3:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

The estranged husband of a Slidell woman who was dismembered and her body stuffed in a freezer is calling on the justice system to hold the accused killer without bail. More from Jeff Palermo…:

CUT 02(27)      “…Jeff Palermo.”

Faced with a severe shortage of substitute teachers, Caddo Parish schools are asking parents to step and take on that role. The lack of available instructors is caused largely by the COVID pandemic, but also by a general shortage of available help. Caddo parents who want to help are urged to contact the school system.

 

A Baton Rouge Fire Department arson investigator shot a naked, unarmed man who was trying to break into his FDBR vehicle – which had a gun inside. The investigator says, if not for the gun inside, he’d not have used force to stop the man. Why the man was trying to get into the vehicle … and why he was nude … are matters for the investigation.

Physicians say, if you are experiencing COVID symptoms to assume you have the virus and stay home. It might not be COVID but Dr. Lucio Miele (MEE-lay), with LSU Health New Orleans, says if you test negative with a home test, you’re not out of the woods just yet…:

CUT 03(12)      “…a bad idea.”

Miele says the PCR test is more accurate, but it takes several days to receive results. To order a package of four at-home tests, go online to “COVIDtests.gov.”

2:30 LRN Newscast Jan 18

A St. Martin Parish man faces murder charges after LEO’s find a dead man and dog inside a burning building. Details are scarce at this time, but we do know that the suspect, Randall Romero of St. Martinville, is charged with 2nd-degree murder, unlawful disposal of human remains, cruelty to animals and more.

“COVIDtests.gov” , the website to order your free at-home coronavirus tests, is now live. Brooke Thorington has more on the reliability of home tests…:

CUT 01(34)      “….Thorington.”

 

The family of a Slidell mother believed to have been decapitated in New Orleans is demanding that the man suspected of killing her be held without bail. A dismembered body, believed to Julia Dardar’s, was found in a freezer on local artist Benjamin Beale’s property. He’s has been charged in her death. Julia’s estranged husband Micah Dardar says Beale’s parents have the ability to bond him out, and that is a problem…:

CUT 10(12)      “…can’t get out of this.”

U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers, of Baton Rouge, releases a campaign ad showing him smoking pot. He says he wants to destigmatize the herb, as a non-violent offense that is clogging up court dockets and taking needed jail space. Reporter Tyler Bridges covers the Senate race for the Advocate newspaper. He says, if nothing else, the Chambers ad is unique…:

CUT 08(10)      “…in Louisiana.”

4:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

The entire coastal town of Grand Isle finally has electricity again, after Hurricane Ida caused massive damage to the barrier island’s infrastructure. Jeff Palermo has more…

CUT 02(27)      “….Palermo.”

It’s no secret that New Orleans has been plagued with a slew of carjackings in recent weeks; some at gunpoint. NOPD says they’ve arrested four people they believe are connected with five carjackings that happened in broad daylight this past Saturday. Police are thankful no one was hurt, and say more such arrests are coming.

 

Lafayette Police say a fatal hit-and-run crash Sunday night led to another traffic crash, when a woman drove through a police barricade where officers were investigating the hit-and-run. Lafayette Police Sergeant Robin Green says Dominique Mills, of Scott, was stopped and arrested. As for the original hit-and-run? Green says no arrests there yet…:

CUT 13(09)      “…been made.”

Governor John Bel Edwards sent his message to Louisiana in honor of the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s national holiday this morning. The governor focused his words on continuing the fight for equality, specifically within our criminal justice system…:

CUT 06(12)      “…change happen.”

The Governor acknowledges progress made in race relations, but says there is still ground to be covered.

3:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

Lafayette Police say a fatal hit and run crash response Sunday night led to another traffic crash, when a woman drove through a police barricade where officers were investigating the hit and run. Lafayette Police Sergeant Robin Green says the woman was driving erratically…:

CUT 12(09)      “…nick of time.”

The woman has been identified as 29-year-old Dominique Mills of Scott. She’s been charged with second-offense Operating While Intoxicated. The pedestrian hit-and-run victim is identified as 57-year old Donald Jackson of Scott.

A Baton Rouge Judicial Court Judge was found dead inside his home Sunday. 19th JDC Judge Christopher Dassau was found unresponsive by police, after a relative asked them to go check on him. Dassau was just 36 years old, but loved ones say he had a medical condition. Foul play is not suspected.

 

A Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibit entitled “Carrying on the Dream” is traveling through the University of Louisiana System campuses. Brooke Thorington has more…:

CUT 01(32)      “…Thorington.”

The identities of the two men killed Friday when their helicopter crashed into a swamp in Lafourche Parish have been released. They are 30-year-old Dylan Horn and 51-year-old Dana Burt. The chopper went down at about 10 Friday morning, and became lodge in fairly deep water. Horn and Burt were the only ones aboard. The crash is under investigation.

2:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

The entire coastal town of Grand Isle finally has electricity again, after Hurricane Ida caused massive damage to the barrier island’s infrastructure. Jeff Palermo has more…:

CUT 02(27)      “…Palermo.”

News website The Lens reports the City of New Orleans has been giving away counterfeit N95 masks for protection against the coronavirus. Remember a REAL N95 mask will NOT have ear loops; it will have straps that tie behind your head. The city says even the fake masks provide some protection from spread of the virus.

 

A Dr. Martin Luther King exhibit is traveling this month and next through the University of Louisiana system campuses. The “Carrying on the Dream” exhibit is on display today and tomorrow on the campus of Louisiana Tech in Ruston. La Tech spokesperson Tonya Oaks Smith says the exhibit is appropriate for all ages…:

CUT 05(11)      “…all of us.”

Included in the traveling exhibit is the 1966 Cadillac hearse that carried King’s body to his funeral almost 54 years ago in Memphis.

Speaking today on the occasion of MLK Day, Governor John Bel Edwards says he sees racial progress, but knows that the state still has a way to go in realizing Dr. King’s vision…:

CUT 08(09)      “…make change happen.”

1:30 LRN Newscast Jan 17

Governor John Bel Edwards sent his message to Louisiana in honor of the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s national holiday this morning. The governor focused on continuing the fight for equality, specifically within our criminal justice system. He cites the recent posthumous pardon of Homer Plessy as a step in the right direction…:

CUT 07(10)      “…in Christ.”

Mr. Edwards says the state still has some important progress to make.

Business owners in New Orleans are concerned about recent violent incidents in and around the French Quarter. As Carnival Season gets underway, two recent shootings in the Quarter have shop, bar and restaurant owners worried the high crime will cause potential visitors to change their plans, and skip Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Many French Quarter eateries are hiring extra security, to try to keep their patrons safe.

 

Nearly 4 & ½ months after Hurricane Ida hit, power has finally been restored to Grans Isle, in lower Jefferson Parish. Mayor David Camardelle says there is still a lot work to be done in getting the town back to normal, but having the juice back on certainly helps. He says now resident can get moved back in full-time..:

CUT 11(09)      “…in their life.”

Authorities release the names of two people killed Friday in a helicopter crash in Lafourche Parish. They are 51-year-old Dana Burt, of Kaplan, and his passenger, 30-year-old Dylan Horn, from Panama City, Florida. The chopper went down at about 10 Friday morning. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Expect a slight warming trend over the next couple day, but then another cold front in coming for Thursday; bringing in the chance of a hard freeze by Friday morning.

4:30 LRN Newscast Jan 14

The state announces it will receive a billion dollars over the next five years from the federal government to rebuild bridges. Jeff Palermo has the story…:

CUT 02(31)      “…Palermo.”

This Sunday in New Orleans, a parade to honor the late Betty White. The entertainer died just days shy of her 100th birthday. Animal rescue was a favorite cause for Betty, so the parade will also raise money for animal care & adoption programs. The parade starts Sunday at 4, at the corner of Canal and Bourbon.

 

A corroded pipeline in St. Bernard Parish is being blamed for a massive diesel spill that has killed thousands of fish and hundreds of land animals. LDWF spokesperson Laura Carver says animals found alive are being trapped, cleaned up and rehabilitated. She says that includes birds, snakes, turtles and gators…:

CUT 08(07)      “…rehabilitation.”

Cleanup of the spill is fully underway.

Keep that heavy coat handy. It’s going to be a chilly weekend as a cold front enters the state again Saturday. State Climatologist Barry Keim says tomorrow will be a big transitional day, with rain and possibly a wintery mix in the northern parishes…:

CUT 10(08)      “…most of the state.”

He says he still does NOT expect we will see a hard freeze.

3:30 LRN Newscast Jan 14

Thanks to the recently passed federal Infrastructure Bill, Louisiana will get a billion dollars over 5 years to repair or rebuild a lot of the state’s crumbling bridges. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the state will spend about 200-million of the one billion this year and they’ve released a list of bridge projects that will see funding…:

CUT 13(11)      “…this year.”

Bridges in Caddo, Ouachita St. Mary Parish – all expected to get some love in the coming year.

Sunday in New Orleans, a parade to honor the late, great Betty White. She passed away just days shy of her 100th birthday. Parade organizer Santa T. Claus (his legal name) says the parade will raise money to benefit animal rescue – one of White’s favorite causes – and starts Sunday at 4, Bourbon and Canal…:

CUT 04(10)      “…Jackson Square.”

 

The State Fire Marshal’s office says a Lacombe man died after going back into a burning home to rescue his pets. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says the home caught fire early Tuesday morning. Two people in their 60’s made it safely outside, but the man went back inside to save the family dogs. He died in the hospital a day after the fire. Rodrigue has this advice for anyone able to escape a burning building..:

CUT 16(12)      “…if we lose our own.”

A Shreveport man is in jail after a police search warrant turned up over 21 pounds of illegal marijuana. They also confiscated seven guns, over $12-thousand in cash and a Cadillac Escalade. 27-year-old Harlann Stewart face drug and weapons charges. No word on bail.

Coronavirus. The health Department reports just over 14-thousand new cases with almost 2200 in the hospital with the virus. Of those, nearly 75-percent are not fully vaccinated. Ten COVID patients have recently died.